There are two main types of summer cheerleading camps. The first type is day camp, where attendees participate in a program during the day, but return home in the afternoon or evening. The other type is "sleep away" or overnight camp. Either of these camps can last from a single day up to one week or more.
Choosing the Summer Cheerleading Camps That Fits Your Child
Choosing from the many summer cheer camps that are available depends greatly on the cheerleaders who are planning to attend. For example, a child who has never been away from home may be reluctant to attend a camp that lasts more than one week. Find out if the camp you are considering offers a "trial" stay, allowing the child to visit for a day or two before making a final decision. Since most camp fees are non-refundable, you don't want to pay for a two week stay if the child is ready to return home in two days.
Summer camps can be a form of vacation, a learning experience, or a bit of both. Some of the greatest benefits summer cheerleading camps offer is the chance for children to make new friends, learn new skills or improve their existing skills, and remain busy and active throughout the summer months.
Summer Cheer Camp Questions
1) What is the counselor-to-camper ratio? A lower instructor to camper rating is preferable. You know that your child is receiving more individual attention.
2) What are the ages of the counselors? Sometime the younger instructors are more enthusiastic, but they may not be adequately trained to prevent accidents. Also the younger instructors may not be able to command the respect of the campers who may be just a couple of years younger than they are. You also do not want counselors that are so old that they can not maintain the level of enthusiasm and energy needed to instruct cheerleader camp.
3) What are the desired attributes of a cheerleading camp staff? The same qualities that you would seek in any one whom you might leave your child with are also the same valued attributes to seek of camp counselor and instructors. Trustworthiness and dependability would be at the top of the list. Also, the ability to adapt to a variety of situations, empathy, patience and the desire to work with cheerleaders. A strong self-image and an outgoing personality are also important characteristics for camp staff.
4) What is the percentage of the counselors who are returning from last year? Most camps have from 40-60 percent returning staff. If the rate is lower than this, find out why.
5) How are behavioral and disciplinary problems handled? This is where the director's philosophy comes out loud and clear. Positive reinforcement, assertive role modeling and a sense of fair play are generally regarded as key components of camp counseling and leadership. Rules are necessary in any organization and the disciplinary approach taken should be reasonable and well communicated. If penalties are involved for violations, they should be applied quickly, fairly, calmly, and without criticizing the campers.
6) What about references? This is generally one of the best ways to check a camp's reputation and service record. Directors should be happy to provide references. Good summer cheerleading camps have good references.